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Snow Flower and the Secret Fan – Lisa See

November 24, 2010

Snow Flower is another book I have wanted to read for a long time. Lately I have been in the mode of picking things off of my bookshelf and diving into them, instead of buying more. I call it cleaning house, haha. 

Snow Flower and Secret Fan is a story of a life-long friendship between two girls who are very different and very similar at the same time. Lily and Snow Flower are brought together as a laontong match by the local matchmaker trying to make marriage matches for both girls. The girls communicate back and forth by writing in a secret woman’s language, called Nu Shu, in the folds of a fan.

The book is fascinating as it describes the friendship that develops between the girls, given the circumstances under which they had to communicate. It also delves into an elaborate description of the foot binding process women in China went through for hundreds of years. It seems so barbaric that women were subject to such pain in the name of beauty, but there are so many parallels to the way we live today, and to what women put ourselves through today to be beautiful. Is foot binding really any worse than some of the plastic surgery that some women undergo?

This is a book I really enjoyed reading. It was one of the best books I have read in quite some time. I would highly recommend this book as a must read.

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